Category: Parent Info

Why is custom framing more valuable than ready-made frames for family portraits?

Family portraits custom framingSo, what’s the big deal with custom framing versus big box store ready-made frames? When doing research, I had to ask this question to a custom framer. “Why is custom framing so expensive?!” I just about dropped dead when I heard the prices.  Here is what I found.  The difference between cheap ready-made frames and custom frames, boils down to one single factor, PURPOSE. One is made to last and one is made to temporarily display.


The reason custom framing is more valuable is because it is made to preserve the photographic artwork.  You will notice that all materials used are well thought out from beginning to end.   The matting and backing are acid free archival materials as well .  Why use acid free paper and backing?  Because they are made to last more than 100 years.


There is no denying that you can get some stunning custom framing designs. You can find them in artisan carved and stained woods, beautiful veneers, intricate designs, metal and resins. They just look stunning.  These are statement pieces that will have you oohing and ahhing.  You will love coming home that’s for sure.


Whereas a ready-made frame uses inferior materials for temporary display purposes.  It’s purpose is not to preserve the art which in turn exposes it to premature deterioration.  As for the designs they are usually pretty basic.  You can tell most materials used are cheaper plastics versus wood.  Not to say that you cannot find inexpensive wood ready made frames but in general most are cheaply made.  You will find regular cardboard or other acidic materials used  for the backing, as well as glues that can damage your prints.  These chemicals can make your pictures turn yellow and cause discolorations.


Take for instance the warping Mona Lisa.  Experts with the national geographic say, “it’s nothing to smile about.”  In the article on  by Stefan Logren…This is what he had to say,”it’s deterioration has aroused some worry.  Nobody wants to touch it.  It is an extraordinary rich portrait.”  Another influential art professor from Columbia University David Rosand explains a photograph this way….”This is what portraiture is about…an effort to stop time.  The beauty of that face will last forever, but in life it will not.”


Curators have enclosed the Mona Lisa behind a thick glass to guard against changes in climate temperature.  This brings us to another topic glass.  The natural elements  such as light even a fraction of direct sunlight can begin to affect images.


The upside with ready-made frames is that they are a good cheap alternative for maybe an expo when you need to display lots of art temporarily.  I did find it handy to buy a whole bunch of box store ready-made frames for an exhibition a few years ago.  It was nice to find a few frames with a whole bunch of detail and the borders were thick.  They were great as long as nobody touched them because they would figure out they were really plastic.  My little secret:-) The real drawback was getting my  prints into these standard frames.  Even when my prints and frames were supposed to be the same size the ready-made frames where inconsistent with their sizes. Fitting the my prints in was a hassle and it caused my pictures to buckle.  I  had to reprint a few of the images because you could see the lumps in the image due to the inconsistency in the frames.


This had me convinced to make the switch for displaying my personal family images as well as my clients/friends and upgrade to durable materials.  This last year I began to have a minimalistic approach to my life.  I kept only the things that I love around.  So, I figured if I’m going to only have less things, why not make sure they are well made.


If you are the type of person that has hired a professional photographer to take images of your family, you know the value hiring the right person and the value of capturing your family portrait in this given time.The fact that you know that these moments the photographer captures are invaluable makes sense that you would want to protect your investment by displaying it in a frame worthy of it’s contents.

Family Portrait Photographer Sherwood Oregon Photographer Tigard Washington Photography 2014-11-28

So, the bottom line is a custom frame looks way better.  It is made from high quality materials and is made to protect your beautiful family portraits for years to come.


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Hello momma!  If you are like most moms… would love to see your child’s beautiful smile and eyes looking straight at the camera.  Perfect! Right? Well, those shots are must haves but not all pictures necessarily need to be with that pose.  Here’s a few tips and tricks that you can do to guarantee to help get the results and expressions you will treasure forever.  Whether we talking about photographing toddlers or high school seniors, these tips will help you get that authentic smile.


Secret number 1, choose a few items that they love and bring those to the session.  If you have a toddler you can bring a few of his or her favorite toys and, “Let him/her choose which one he/she prefers to play with.”  If we are talking about photographing a teenagers, you can bring along some of their favorite hobby supplies, musical instruments or sports equipment.  It does a few things, it helps him/her to have something special that they are familiar with.  It helps ease into the session and gives them something else to focus on, other than the fact that someone is taking their picture. Most importantly it gives them a choice with either or and that makes them feel somewhat independent.


Secret number 2, stay close enough to keep them comfortable. This is great especially with younger kids but also with teenagers because they may take 15-20 minutes just to warm up to the photographer. I  like to acknowledge the kids right away by paying attention to them with a nice warm smile and a little small talk.  In this case when I work with children I want them to relax as soon as possible and feel important because they are! Their feelings are super important because we want to get images that really do capture who they genuinely are in an unguarded way.

I love all of the joy and personality in this portrait

I love all of the joy and personality in this portrait

Secret number three…stay far enough away from them so that they do not see your stress. Wait a minute! Doesn’t that contradict secret number two? Nope, they work hand in hand.  You see..sometimes  some moms might want that picture portrait smile on every single picture and they expect that look to happen during the  entire session.  When they realize that their child is not smiling or looking at the camera for every single picture, they start to stress out. Nobody wants that.  This is supposed to be fun! They might even begin saying things like, SMILE, LOOK AT THE CAMERA, PICK YOUR HEAD UP, WHY ARE YOU MAKING THAT FACE?DON’T DO THAT, without even realizing. Get the picture? Those words might..stress out your child, stress you out and your photographer. Young kids and teens will pick up on that and it will have a negative effect on your images. So, If you find yourself stressing out step back a little and let your amazing photographer handle it. There is a fine balance though momma because you are also an important part of this whole process! When it comes down to it, there is nothing like momma, especially with the toddlers.  You know your child.  If you are just a tad bit behind the photographer and call out to your child to engage that seems to work well too.  We are on the same team.


#4  Just know that sometimes when it seems as if nothing is happening good images might still be brewing in the making.  Does that make sense?  In order for to get those big beautiful smiles and genuine laughs, you have to have those in between moments when not much is going on.  Just like this image.  I love it and she’s not looking at the camera, but its adorable.

Portland and sherwood family photographer

Portrait photographers are mostly creative extroverted people who love to work with people and find the human spirit intriguing. I can’t speak for every photographer because we all come with different personalities and photographic styles but I think I can safely say that a successful profitable professional portrait photographer has realized that they love to work with people just like an  introverted creative landscape photographer might realize that they prefer to work alone without interacting with anyone in a remote location at the crack of sunrise doing landscape portraits.  I say this because…secret number 5 lends its self to trust.  When it comes to having your kids picture taken, just know that your portrait photographer will know a few little tricks to get genuine expression.  When I notice that my subject is stressed about having their picture taken I put down my camera and make direct eye contact and just talk to them.  A little smile goes a long way to put them at ease.  If I notice that a pose is uncomfortable, I put down my camera, take a moment to find a comfortable natural position for them and that seems to redirect the session in a positive way.


So, bring a few things they like, give them choices, give them smiles lots of love, be at ease and pray for no rain! You know that last one is just a bonus for Oregonians. Also, when you are ready to document those amazing family moments by a pro give me a buzz.



Your friend and family portrait photographer



Model Rep Perks- Ravishing Photography

eliana-newberg-high-school-senior-portraits-6576So…what is a High School Senior Model Rep?  Each year we select a few outstanding students from the Sherwood & Portland Metro Area high schools to represent Ravishing Photography.

What type of students are you looking for? Honestly, we like to work with good positive people.  If you have a zest for life and are adventurous, it just might work!  We love bubbly personalities.  Don’t shy away if you are a cool calm and collective person, we like that too. Most importantly we like to work with authentic people that we can trust and make amazing art with! If you inspire others we would love to hear from you!

Do I have to fit the tall & thin standard model profile? Of course not! Our models are real people who come in a variety of lovely shapes and sizes.  Beauty is skin deep and we love to embrace that!  We do not have any height or weight requirements.

What are the perks?  It’s pretty cool because senior reps get a few perks that are only reserved for high school reps like…extra bonus complimentary photo sessions which equal more looks. Instead of the usual 2 hour session you get bumped up to an additional complimentary session for a total of 4 hours to be used on two separate occasions. Complimentary hair and make-up with each session.  Depending on what time of year you are approved, the session may be a summer session and spring or fall/spring.  When you refer friends over they get extra bonus perks off of their session too.  Most importantly when you refer people over you get a chance to earn gift cards from your choice of Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Hollister, Mac, Sephora, Tilly’s,  Parents love it because you do get an exclusive 25% discount off all print products. Our reps get a minimum of $400 worth of savings.
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My inspiration, “What inspires you?”

commercial travel portrait kyoto japan alicia vazquez copySo what’s an inspirational blog doing on my photography blog? I don’t think life would be interesting if it was all cookie cutter. Join me as I defy the usual with a simple blog about life. There’s a few things in life that keep my clock ticking.  Discovering new cultures with travel keeps me inspired.  Keeping my mind in motion by learning new things.  Being a mother is the most challenging yet satisfying job.


It’s interesting to see that life can be lived in many different ways.  The things we do on a day-to-day basis are not the same around the world.  Values are different.  Characters are different.  When we interact with different cultures it enriches our lives.  Seeing the difference helps us to appreciate who we are and how we fit in the world.

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Which Sherwood Photographers are licensed for business?

Sherwood High School Senior Pictures

Sherwood High School Senior Pictures

The city of Sherwood is an amazing town. Our town is by no means flawless and in no way am I implying that, but we have a sense of pride, because it’s a great town with awesome schools.  It’s a great place to raise a family. My kids have enjoyed getting promoted from elementary, middle school and graduating from Sherwood High School.  In fact, I have a few still in that process.  When we decide to do business with local businesses it supports our community and helps it thrive.


Doing business locally is an opportunity to support small businesses who take great pride in their workmanship. You get to experience one-of-a-kind creativity and know that your choices  help sustain and encourage unique one of a kind businesses.  Consider this, when deciding where to take your high school senior pictures this year. Only 3 out of the 12 Photographers listed on the Google search as Sherwood Photographers covering High School Senior Portraits are actually licensed businesses in Sherwood, OR. Yes, Ravishing Photography is one of them! Another benefit of working with local entrepreneurs is you get to know people in your community. It’s good to know that you are doing business with a licensed business because it adds credibility and reliability.  Keep our Sherwood Dollars in the community and support local Entrepreneurship. Want to know if your Sherwood photographer is licensed for business? Click on this link to find out

Attention Class of 2017 Senior Portrait Yearbook Deadline


Attention: Class of 2017 for all Oregon Schools, Senior portraits yearbook due dates and requirements listed for Sherwood High School #Bowmen, Newberg High School ,#Tigers , Lake Oswego High School #Lakers, West Linn High School, Tigard High School, McMinnville High School, Beaverton High School current as of June 18, 2016.  Updates will be available as they come in.


Pro Thoughts: If it were up to me…seniors would be able to have complete creative control over selecting their high school senior portraits for the yearbook as long as it was a good image photographically.  But, it looks like each school wants to have  a little continuity in their yearbook, thus the guidelines.  I’m publishing this because I feel that most students and parents are a little misinformed and not well prepared for the planning of their portraits session.  Generally, in Oregon most high schools tend to want the yearbook images turned in by Fall or Winter of the High School Senior Year.  So, most parents aren’t really aware of the deadlines until kids get back to school in September.  Once September hits in Oregon there really are only a few weeks of good weather to have your shoot and it’s very late in the season to be taking them.  Possible but risky with shorter days of light and heavy rains.  In order to have an awesome variety of locations planning for your high school portraits generally has to happen before finals of your junior year. You will notice there are two schools who have updated and prepared parents ahead of time.  For the remaining schools please keep in mind these are forecasted dates, to give you a general idea and heads of due dates.

As a standard we do provide senior portraits yearbook headshot standard requirements presented to all clients is a full resolution at 300 DPI.

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The one thing every no mom should forget.

If your a mom like me….you’re probably documenting all those important milestones in your kids lives.  From the first day of school to the first driving lesson.  If your like me…you probably whip out your cell phone very inconspicuously to get a genuine teenage moment.  It’s handy and small. I love it! Documenting day to day life has never been easier. What’s the importance of backing up phones anyhow?


I have known the importance of backing up my images taken with my camera for many years now.  Those babies go through a quintuple- back up…cloud, computer, hard drive, cards and print.   But….when iCloud storage came into play, I was against it because I didn’t feel comfortable with my “personal” family information out there on a massive black cloud. But, it’s time to face the music.  There is no way to escape it, every time we post on social media our info is out there.


Any how, we took our kids to an amazing vacation in Hawaii because our oldest graduated high school and we wanted to give the kids a special gift to remember.  Two weeks on the island of Kauai and it was pure bliss!  Bottom line…stolen phone…with Hawaii vacation pictures.  Even though I got a  new iPhone 6 plus in rose gold just like I wanted, I had all those silly pictures I got of my kids on our vacation to Hawaii!  It’s not like we go to Hawaii every year!  We just went on that trip!


The upside?  You know, since I’m a photographer, I did have all my beautiful camera gear with me.  I did come back with a couple thousand images.  I captured the kids running out of the water at the North Shore and the amazing Hawaiian Tahiti Dance Competition.  As soon as I got home, I went through my drill.  Cull and print.  Found my favorites and printed them on heirloom canvases and prints.  I have a medium heirloom 20×30 canvas of my youngest boogie boarding displayed in my living room along with other large images gracing my entrance hallway.  It was pretty nice because I also captured video during our secret lava bed excursion on my main camera.  If I wouldn’t have had my camera I would have been miserable.  I do miss those little snaps shots I took with my phone though.

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